Your website is a powerful marketing tool. A well-maintained website can help you gain a competitive advantage in your industry and improve your business image. Developing your website offers many benefits including helping you get more leads and prospects, increase sales, enhance your professional “brand,” and improve your customer service.
But surprisingly, according to various recent studies, just about 50% of all small businesses don’t have websites.
Below are 20 benefits of a website for small businesses you may not have thought of:
1. You won’t be invisible
By creating a website you stop being invisible to the people trying to find you online. More and more studies are telling us about the ROBO effect where customers are learning to research online before buying offline. They’re typing their problems or needs into the search engine of their choice and are researching the companies that appear for those queries. If you don’t have a Web presence, there’s no chance of you showing up and you never even enter into their thought process. In 2016, you can’t afford to be invisible.
2. Powerful Sales Tool
A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action. Sure, you can keep placing ads in the Yellow Pages and hope that word-of-mouth generates on its own…or you can build something that inspires it to happen. Your website is your home turf where people can go to seek out trusted information about your company and engage with you on a more personal level. Use it to build confidence in your brand and to give customers important buying information (and incentives).
3. Business Credibility
A 2015 study performed by Verisign reported that 84% consumers believe that small businesses with websites are more credible than ones without an online presence. To take it one step further, the study also concluded that 65% of consumers consider a company branded email to be more credible than a generic email account such as Gmail, Outlook.com, AOL, or Yahoo mail.
The days of matchbook advertising are long gone and to remain relevant and credible, small businesses must invest in a small business website. Looked at another way, if all your competitors have websites and your business doesn’t, who do you think looks more credible?
4. Business Discoverability
The same study by Verisign also reported that 9 out of 10 consumers rely on the internet to locate and evaluate local goods and services. Understanding these numbers and the online habits of consumers makes it difficult to understand why 46% of small businesses do not have a website. But for the 54% that have developed their business website, they benefit from a clear advantage when considering discoverability.
In a 2015 survey by Redshift Research, and commissioned by GoDaddy, it was found that 59 percent of very small businesses (made up of one to five people) don’t have websites. Of those, 12 percent have Facebook pages.
Additionally, the same survey found that 83 percent of the surveyed businesses that do have websites said “their online platforms gave them a competitive advantage over businesses without websites.”
With over 3.5 billion Google searches occurring each day, your customer could be seconds away from locating and patronizing your small business. Business websites allow potential customers to access your business and learn about your products and services 24/7.
5. You can use it to build a customer database
Even if you hate the Web, you probably still like email. I bet you even collect emails from your customers by hand so that you can keep them up to date on what’s happening in-store. Having a website allows you to do all of that better because it makes it easier, faster and provides even more incentive for someone to sign up. Create a site that users can trust and then use it to build your email list. Along with your website, that list just may end up being one of your strongest sales tools.
6. Increase Customers
Most businesses have local popularity, but what about potential customers outside their city? A website can help you generate more customers. Not just outside your city, but worldwide. The internet offers a global community. With a website, your business will be visible around the world.
7. Reach more audience
There are many studies that came out since early last year showing the dramatic rise in the number of people who use their mobiles and tablets for all their online activities (social networking, shopping, researching, searching google etc).
- Appearing on smartphones is critical for local businesses. 94% of smartphone users look for local information on their phone and 84% take action as a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business.
- 77% of users have researched a product or service on their device, and 46% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their phone
- 67% of people start shopping on one device and continue to another
- 65% of sequential shopping occasions are started on a smartphone
- 34% of people turn to the screen that’s closest when looking for information.
8. Higher Ranks in Google (SEO)
Let me say that again, responsive web design means higher rankings in Google search. Let’s face it, you build a website to be found and receive traffic and leads – am I right? Of course. This priority is a MUST for any business owner both small and big businesses can benefit from more website traffic and leads. Now let me explain the magic and how it happens. When your site has one responsive design that scales to fit any device, you don’t need another version of your website that’s built just for mobile devices. With only one strategic URL, you strengthen your SEO. Forget about building separate website designs for tablets, iPhones, desktops, and laptops – that’s now a thing of the past.
9. Find out who your customers are.
Unless you specifically ask each customer who comes through your door how they found you, you may not know the origin of your customers or which marketing campaigns work. Using your small business website as a marketing and analytics tool will provide real time data about the following:
- Demographics of your website visitors
- How visitors find your site
- The number of monthly/weekly/daily visitors to your website
- Which website pages are most visited
- How many pages visitors access per visit
- How much time they spend on each page
- How frequently visitors return to your website
More in depth analytics data will also be available depending on whether your site is utilizing pay per click advertising or marketing software.
10. We get you what you need.
The days of people pulling out the bulky, printed copy of the Yellow Pages to find your business are gone and they won’t be returning. Having a website for your business is a “must have” and not just a “nice to have” element of being in business. Not having a website puts your business at a competitive disadvantage.
If you already have a small business website, but are not receiving one or more of these benefits, it may be time for you to contact us to help your business get the most of it’s website.